Member Biographies as of July 2016
The mission of the CAG is to assist in broad public awareness and input and provide advice and recommendations to the US Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies and organizations to help ensure an effective and timely cleanup and restoration of the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River & Bay Superfund Site.
The cleanup of contamination from the Saginaw River, Tittabawassee River and Saginaw Bay is being conducted under the authorities of the US Environmental Protection Agency and The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The Dow Chemical Company, as responsible party for the river contamination, under an administrative order with the USEPA and DNRE, is performing investigations, and developing and designing cleanup options that will be selected by EPA after public comment on the cleanup options.
To achieve its mission, the CAG is comprised of citizens from throughout the tri-city area who represent a wide range of viewpoints and interests related to the community and the cleanup. The CAG was convened to reflect the diversity of the community with regard to racial, social, economic and other demographics.
A public workshop was held in August 2009 to solicit community input to the range of perspectives and process for convening the CAG. Participants modified a draft list of stakeholder perspectives that were important for the CAG and also provided nominations for local stakeholders to serve on a community convening group. This input was used to identify important stakeholder categories create applications for membership which were distributed throughout the community in the autumn of 2009.
A diverse group of five local leaders who were nominated by the community volunteered to review the applications and select prospective CAG members. The convening group agreed not to be eligible for CAG membership themselves. These five individuals reviewed the 46 applications received and selected 23 members to best represent the diversity being sought from the categories identified by the public at the August workshop.
Member Representation and Potential Conflicts of Interest
The CAG is an independent community organization and CAG members serve as individual citizens, not as direct representatives of any group or organization. All members of the CAG are active in the community and serve as volunteers and board members for numerous community organizations. Some work at universities or non-profit organizations that rely on charitable giving for part of their operating expenses.
As a condition of participation, all members completed an identical application form and were asked to disclose any known conflicts of interest. All members were asked to warrant that no conflicts of interest exist and that they serve as individual citizens of the community to freely provide input and advice through the CAG. Since the CAG’s makeup reflects the community at large, it is not desirable to eliminate all persons who have any relationships with parties to the cleanup, or who would be affected by the outcome of this cleanup process. All CAG members will be affected just as community members will be affected by the outcome of this cleanup – physically, emotionally, and economically.
Dow Chemical is the sole responsible party at the site and a major economic force in the region. Some stakeholders have raised concerns about the potential for conflicts of interest among CAG members who work for organizations with financial ties to Dow Chemical. The CAG is confident that no such direct conflicts exist. No member of the CAG is directly employed by Dow or works for an organization that is a subsidiary or wholly owned by Dow. However, because Dow is a major presence in the community, many institutions, organizations, and non-profits do receive Dow charitable support at varying levels, or have worked with Dow on a contract basis. This is true of a number of the organizations where CAG members work or volunteer. However, those individuals have warranted that they are not in a position to receive any direct benefit from Dow that would influence their honest participation on the CAG.
Member Replacement and Recruitment
CAG members serve staggered three-year terms that follow the calendar year. New members will be added each January to replace retiring members beginning in 2012. New members will be selected to maintain the overall balance and diversity of community participation on the CAG.
If members leave the CAG prior to the end of a term, new members are sought as direct replacements to represent a similar demographic to ensure a consistent range of interests is maintained.
If any member of the public feels that they represent an important community perspective that is inadequately represented on the CAG, he or she is urged to submit an application and contribute to the CAG’s representation of the entire community.
These brief bios provide a description of member interests, employment, and major community involvement in order to provide an overview of the many affiliations and perspectives represented on the CAG.
Peter Bagley, Retired attorney
Lives: Saginaw Township
Charles Curtiss, retired
Lives: Bay City
Charles Curtiss is a native of Bay City, has a BS in Engineering from Yale University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He has been very active in a number of environmental efforts including as a founder and Past President of the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and of the Watershed Initiative Network. He has been active in economic development as a small business counselor and a loan officer for a small revolving loan fund. He also was a founder of Forward Bay County (the predecessor of Bay Future) and was a founder of SVSU. Charley has lived on and boated on the Saginaw Bay for more than 60 years. He is a member of the Bay City Yacht Club, the Great Lakes Cruising Club and a life member of the United States Power Squadron. His current residence is on the shore of Saginaw Bay about 1/2 mile west of the mouth of the Saginaw River.
Leonard Heinzman, Retired
Leonard is an avid fisherman and golfer. He and his wife Cheryl enjoy traveling and reading and were diehard boaters for the first 15 of our 27 years of marriage. He belonged to the Bay City Yacht Club where he served as board member for several years. He discontinued boating when after building the current home in Freeland. Leonard retired from Delphi Corporation in 2002 after 31 years with General Motors Corporation and the last three years with Delphi, starting as a floor supervisor and upon retiring as a customer service engineer. He is actively involved with the community of Freeland and takes an active role in its growth by donating numerous hours of service towards its betterment. He currently serves as President of the Freeland Lions Club– an integral part of the Freeland Community which helps the less fortunate through its numerous fund raisers.
Michael Kelly, Great Lakes Director, The Conservation Fund
Michael grew up on the Kawkawlin River in Bay County and has devoted his adult professional life to the social, environmental, and economic health of the region. Michael has worked for The Conservation Fund for 11 years, and prior to that served as a city manager, as well as a director of a conservation-based nonprofit. An avid outdoorsman, Michael enjoys hunting and fishing, particularly in local areas that are part of the focus of this project. He has a particular interest in assuring that remediation activities take a holistic view of the environmental and economics impacts that will result, and their effects on our region’s continued viability. Michael lives in Freeland with his wife and two children.
Joe Kozumplik, Retired
James Krogsrud, Retired Lawyer, Engineer
James currently lives in Freeland on the west bank of the Tittabawassee River (Zone 3). He has a lifelong interest in public service. James retired from his primary career as a public defender. While an attorney (J.D., Univ. of Wisconsin), he participated in all phases of government (judicial, executive and legislative), representing individual and community interests. He has had experience as a volunteer on various governmental and non-governmental committees. Finally, James also has had training in engineering (B.S.E., M.S.E., Univ. of Michigan).
Terry Miller, Delta College instructor
Lives: Bay City
Works: Bay City
Luis Mulford, Lives on Tittabawassee River
Laura Ogar, Director Environmental Affairs & Community Development for Bay County
Lives: Bay City
Laura and her family are birdwatchers and avid fishermen and use the bay actively during all four seasons. She has a special interest in near-shore aquatic resources, sustainable living practices and is active with the Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative; the Bay Area Chamber’s Community and Economic Development Council and serves as Immanuel Lutheran Church Fellowship Committee Chair.
David Sommers, Retired News Photographer
David retired from The Saginaw News in 2009 after a 30-year career as a staff photographer. The Vietnam veteran served four years in the Air Force and also worked for seven years as a public affairs photographer for the Dow Chemical Company.
Dave works and volunteers on and in the waterways of the area and has served over 20 years as Commander of the Saginaw County Sheriff Marine Division and dive rescue team. He is a Thomas Township Trustee and also serves his community as a member of the Planning Commission, a command officer on the Thomas Township Fire Department, and member Economic Development Corporation. He is Secretary of the Hardwood Lake Improvement Board in Ogemaw County with overall responsibility of weed control issues. Dave is currently the CAG President and Communications Chair. He and his wife raised two daughters in their 33 years of living on the Tittabawassee River. Since any cleanup issues involving the Tittabawasse River will affect Sommers, his family and property, he has a great interest in the project.
Joel Tanner, Retired educator and union president
Joel was a classroom teacher for 30 years and president of the Saginaw Education Association for six years. He is a state certified mediator, serves on the Board of the Bridge Center for Racial Harmony, and volunteers for numerous environmental groups and for the United Way preparing tax returns for low-income people. He also served with the Peace Corps.
Bob Weise, Supervisor, Thomas Township
Lives: Thomas Township
Bob has been involved in Thomas Township government since 1980. He has been a trustee, Planning Commission member, and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is currently serving his third term as Supervisor. The Tittabawassee River forms the eastern boundary of Thomas Township. He has been actively pursuing the development of land along the river to be used as a natural area for township residents. Bob worked for 34 years as a school administrator, teacher and coach. He retired in 1997 from Carrolton Public Schools. Bob is an active member of the Shields Lions Club and Holy Spirit Knights of Columbus Council 8808. He has served in many leadership capacities for both organizations.